Packers Daily Links: Jason Spitz Becomes Latest To Leave

Offensive lineman Jason Spitz has agreed on a contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. That and more in today's Daily Links...

Crazy day for Packers news yesterday...

Offensive lineman Jason Spitz became one of three players to agree to terms with another team yesterday, joining Daryn Colledge and Brandon Jackson. "He accepted a two-year offer to return to his hometown of Jacksonville, Fla., to play for the Jaguars," writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Terms of the deal were not known." Word is that Spitz has the opportunity to compete for the starting job at center for the Jaguars.

Fullback Korey Hall may be the next to leave town. "Hall, meanwhile, was set to sign with the Saints for three years and a relatively small signing bonus of $400,000," writes Jason Wilde of, citing a source. Bear in mind, even though the Packers are losing free agents left and right, they will be receiving compensatory draft choices in return for their losses.

In the still-developing story regarding the injury to Brandon Chillar, Jason Wilde reports the linebacker was supposed to be cut. "The veteran inside linebacker was among the players the Packers intended to release to create room under the salary cap, but Chillar was not told of the team’s plans for him on Thursday, when fellow linebacker Brady Poppinga and defensive end Justin Harrell were both told that the team intended to release them," writes Wilde. With Nick Barnett also expected to be traded or released, it will be very interesting to see how the Packers proceed given the depth, or lack thereof, at inside linebacker.

In addition to our previously reported signing of seventh-rounder Ryan Taylor, the Packers signed three more draft choices last night as well, fifth-rounder D.J. Williams and sixth rounders Ricky Elmore and Caleb Schlauderaff. Packer Report has the contract details. "The new collective bargaining agreement outlines exactly what the draft picks can make in first-year pay and total salary over the four-year length of the deal," writes Bill Huber. "Williams was eligible to make $424,500 for this season and $2,3334,750 over the four years. The others who signed: Schlauderaff, $401,450 and $2,207,975; Elmore, $397,059 and $2,183,823; and Taylor, $389,794 and $2,143,823." The one thing that players can negotiate is a signing bonus and Williams reportedly received one of $198,000.

The Packers' annual shareholders meeting occurred yesterday, and the most noteworthy thing to come out of it was the reception to general manager Ted Thompson. "When team President and CEO Mark Murphy introduced Thompson for his football report, the approximately 11,700 people in attendance gave the 58-year-old GM an extended standing ovation, with several individual calls of 'Thank you Ted' before, during and after the cheers," writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Of course, that is in stark contrast to the shareholders meeting of 2008 during the middle of the Brett Favre saga.

More on Ted Thompson comes via Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Jason Wilde.

As far as financial information and its impact goes, business expert Don Walker covered that angle of the shareholders meeting for the Journal Sentinel. "Perhaps as early as February, the franchise hopes to break ground on an addition of approximately 7,000 seats in the south end zone area," writes Walker. "The team will finance the expansion on its own, with additional fiscal help from the NFL's new stadium fund." I can't imagine the Packers not going forward with this.

A couple other noteworthy items came out of the shareholders meeting. The Press-Gazette highlights one of them. "At Thursday’s meeting, Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy said sale of Packers apparel ranked first in the NFL," according to the article. One more big item was that new HD scoreboards will be installed in time for the 2012 season.

Reaction from Justin Harrell on his release was captured by the Journal Sentinel. "Basically, I'm just going to head back, keep working out, keep working on my knee and see what happens," Harrell is quoted as saying. "I have no bad things to say about Green Bay. It was a great place while I was there." The guy always had a good attitude, but the injury history was just too much to overcome.

Likewise, reaction from Brady Poppinga was gathered by Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “Knowing what they know, I think they had to do it,” Poppinga said. “It’s just too bad there wasn’t a chance where they could take me down to the field and see me move and then make a decision. It’s just not set up that way right now with the timing of everything, it all being so condensed and the salary cap. It’s just not possible.” Poppinga said he passed his physical for what it's worth.

The free agent status of John Kuhn was covered by Tyler Dunne. "There's mutual interest," Kuhn's agent Kevin Gold is quoted as saying. "But the system is where John probably only gets to do this process once. This will probably be the last contract of his life so he just wants to see what else is out there and what the market is." With Brandon Jackson leaving, it may be even more important to sign Kuhn, whose pass protection and receiving abilities would be put to use on third downs.

The Packers officially announced the signing of 15 undrafted free agents with bios included on the team's official website. They didn't list defensive lineman Eli Joseph of Temple, though Bill Huber insisted on Twitter that Joseph indeed has signed with the Packers.

On the topic of undrafted players, an article on Utah State wide receiver Diondre Borel is written by Tyler Dunne.

The Packers are negotiating with safety Anthony Smith to return to Green Bay, according to Tom Silverstein.

Special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum is interviewed for an article at the Packers official website, including comments on rookie Randall Cobb as a return specialist.

Training camp position previews today are Bob McGinn on the running backs, Pete Dougherty on the safeties, Bill Huber on the outside linebackers.

Packer Report has more in subscription format on battles and concerns on the outside linebackers.

Packers legend Dave Robinson talked to the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

The Journal Sentinel has video of the shareholders meeting on Ted Thompson and Mark Murphy.

Some comments from Mark Murphy were captured by Kareem Copeland of the Press-Gazette.

Daryn Colledge spoke about leaving Green Bay for Arizona, and Kareem Copeland has that too.

The Press-Gazette has video of the players moving into the dorms at St. Norbert.

The Packers are seeking volunteer groups for concessions at Lambeau Field this season.

Video: More on the Packers checking into their housing quarters for training camp comes courtesy of Fox 11 in Green Bay...

Checking in for 2011 season:

Brian Carriveau is the editor of the Maple Street Press Packers Annual. To contact Brian, email [email protected].

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Comments (5)

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BubbaOne's picture

July 29, 2011 at 09:04 am

Don't understand cutting Harrell. The actual saving is something like $650K since they have to pay him $530K regardless if they keep him or not.
Fans/media have questioned depth at D-Line so why not bring him to camp. He is a 1st round talent when healthy. Chillar's injury along w/ last years injuries show us we're one injury away from a strength potentially becoming a weakness.

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jeremy's picture

July 29, 2011 at 10:30 am

Because money is not the only factor. Coaching and Training staff minutes are more valuable than ever this season. And, Harrell has wasted their time long enough already.

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jack in jersey city's picture

July 29, 2011 at 09:20 am

chillar has also been released

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Ed's picture

July 29, 2011 at 09:42 am

Is anyone else worried baout the depth at DL and LB for the Pack this year?

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CSS's picture

July 29, 2011 at 10:39 am

Well, I'm cheering for a healthy camp and preseason to say the least. My biggest concern at this point with the depth is a lack of rotation to spell Raji. He was amazing last year for a big-fella that played 85% of the defensive snaps. Wilfork, Hampton....basically everybody but Ngata simply can't do that.

And that's the rub. Can they ask Raji to do that all year again and stay healthy? Here's to Raji, Pickett, Howard and Neal staying healthy.

Regardless, the Packers look like they have the personnel, depth and talent in the back 7 to play a ton of nickle and dime again this year with only 2 or 3 down lineman on most snaps. I'm guessing Capers plan involves a lot of 2-4-5 and such.

Should they stay healthy, the Packers have one of the deepest set of DB personnel in the league, if not the deepest.

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